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Ashford explosion: Seven in hospital after Kent blast that destroyed home

The Independent logo The Independent 04/05/2021 Eleanor Sly
Firefighters tackle blaze following explosion at house in Kent
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Police are attempting to establish whether anyone is missing following an explosion which ‘blew off’ the front of a house in Ashford, Kent.

Emergency services were called to the scene to help rescue those who were trapped inside the burning building, with police saying they were “working to establish if anyone else is unaccounted for.”

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Neighbours in Ashford said that the front of the house was “completely gone” following a “loud bang” which was heard just before 8am on Tuesday.

Firefighters were called to Mill View in Willesborough at 7:57am on Tuesday, with four fire engines arriving at the scene.

The scene of a house fire in Mill View in Willesborough, near Ashford, Kent following a reported explosion. Picture date: Tuesday May 4, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images The scene of a house fire in Mill View in Willesborough, near Ashford, Kent following a reported explosion. Picture date: Tuesday May 4, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

Members of the public are being asked to avoid the area, and those living locally have been advised to keep their windows shut.

A woman who lives near to where the explosion happened said she saw people “moving and getting up after ambulance treatment,” the Daily Mirror reported. 

The South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) said that ambulance crews were in attendance along with a Hazardous Area Response Team and the air ambulance service.

A spokesperson said: “Two patients have been taken to hospital in London with serious injuries. A further five patients have been taken to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford with injuries thought to be less serious.”

The scene of a house fire in Mill View in Willesborough, near Ashford, Kent following a reported explosion. Picture date: Tuesday May 4, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images) © PA Wire/PA Images The scene of a house fire in Mill View in Willesborough, near Ashford, Kent following a reported explosion. Picture date: Tuesday May 4, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

“We remain at the scene in support of our emergency service colleagues,” they added.

Neighbours took to social media to describe the events with one tweeting: “Huge gas explosion on my road, front of the house is completely gone.”

Another neighbour posted on Facebook: “It’s one house, houses to either side have some fire damage now too. Everyone okay as far as I know - emergency services at scene. All evacuated. Debris everywhere. People in the house also evacuated and were seen moving and getting up after ambulance treatment but their condition not confirmed yet.”

Someone else wrote on Facebook: “Did anyone else feel their house shake at 8am? Am in Willesborough and now the smell of burning in the air and sirens racing down Hythe Road. What is happening?”

Others living in over half a mile away reported feeling their homes shake, meanwhile a woman who lives more than a mile from Willesborough told Facebook that she had heard an explosion.

Locals have been speculating that it could have been caused to a gas explosion, with a team of gas engineers reportedly spotted at the scene. As yet, however, no official cause of the explosion has been given.

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